Mysteries of the Great Salt Lake Tour

A 45-mile adventure where you’ll discover the saltiest lake in the western hemisphere, nicknamed “America’s Dead Sea”

  • Float like a cork - Swimming is optional but sinking in impossible!

  • Learn the strange science behind a lake ten times saltier than the ocean

  • Hear romantic tales of Saltair, once a historic beach resort known as the “Coney Island of the West”

  • Catch live Sea Monkeys, the mysterious creature that lives in Great Salt Lake

  • See a variety of birds as you travel along one of the greatest migratory bird wetlands in the West

Missing this tour is like having popcorn without salt!

TIME: 3:00 pm

LENGTH: 2 hours

PRICE:  $39 adult  /  $20 child

LOCATION: Pickup from many downtown SLC hotels

FREE PARKING available at Hotel RL

NOTES: Land-based tour only, no boat travel on the lake is currently available


Sights of the Great Salt Lake Tour:


  • Inland Sea Shorebird Reserve: several million migratory birds of over 250 species visit Great Salt Lake each year

  • Wildlife: antelope roam the open plains


  • Saltair: hear tales of an historic beach resort built by the Mormon Church to be a family-friendly attraction amidst the rowdy pleasure resorts of the early 1900’s; once known as the “Coney Island of the West,” now in it’s third iteration


  • Utah State Marina: home of the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club, “the world’s saltiest sailors!”

  • Visitor Center: science and history exhibits, gift shop

  • Silver Sands Beach: walk the shores of soft, pearl-like sand, photo opportunities abound

  • Observation Deck: scenic overlook of the Great Salt Lake, its islands, and the surrounding Rocky Mountains make for spectacular photos


  • Catch a live sea monkey! The only creature that can survive in this lake! A wonder of nature, tiny dehydrated eggs were sold in mass to children through the mail, advertised in comic books - pour the powder-like eggs into saltwater and watch them come to life. Also a very popular elementary school science experiment!

History and Science of the Great Salt Lake, America's Dead Sea

A remnant of the pre-historic Lake Bonneville from the Ice Age, Great Salt Lake today is the largest lake west of the Mississippi River and the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere, measuring 75 miles in length and 28 miles in width, covering 1,700 square miles. The size and depth vary year to year, with a current maximum depth of 33 feet. Water that flows into the lake from four major rivers, fed by melting snow, carries with it 2.2 million tons of minerals each year. Great Salt Lake is a terminal lake, having no outlet, so water can only escape through evaporation, leaving the minerals behind. Compared with a salinity of 3 percent in the oceans, Great Salt Lake can get up to 28 percent -- too salty for fish. The one creature of the lake is the brine shrimp, once marketed to children as pets called Sea Monkeys. The shrimp are an important source of food for several million migratory birds that pass through Utah each year. About 80 percent of Utah's wetlands surround Great Salt Lake. It is one of the most important resources for migratory birds in North America, with up to nine million birds traveling to the lake along the Pacific Flyway. Over 250 species of birds visit the lake each year.